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General Discussion => Historical Spaceflight => Topic started by: catdlr on 08/31/2017 03:46 AM

Title: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 08/31/2017 03:46 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics

Jeff Quitney
Published on Aug 30, 2017

Quote
SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the first quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-13

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) Communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWXB4UkJolk?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWXB4UkJolk
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Danderman on 09/01/2017 02:18 AM
I have yet to see any conceptual art of the early 5 engine Atlas. It seems that the Soviet SS-6 may have originally been a knockoff of the early Atlas.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Proponent on 09/01/2017 01:23 PM
I find Atlas's fuel history
There were even earlier concepts that looked slightly different, used different propellants, etc..

I find Atlas's fuel history pretty weird.  I can understand why gasoline would be attractive at first glance: it's wide availability and low cost make sense for a large missile fleet to be dispersed around the country.  And I can see why its low specific impulse and high flame temperature (and high-ish vapor pressure?) would reduce its appeal on second look.  But, when gasoline was still the expected fuel, what was the point of testing engines on kerosene, switching to alcohol for flight test before moving on to gasoline?
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Proponent on 09/02/2017 02:27 AM
I get that gasoline isn't a great fuel.  What i don't understand is that if the Air Force at one point planned to use gasoline, why would it plan to build test vehicle burning alcohol?
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/02/2017 04:19 AM
Keep in mind that efficient kerosene combustion had become better understood, partially due to significant research on jet engines for both military and civilian application, at the time.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: WallE on 09/02/2017 07:15 AM
They probably wanted to use alcohol for testing simply because it was a proven, reliable rocket propellant. Technology advanced rapidly during the '50s, Von Braun in 1952 had estimated that a rocket the size of the Empire State Building would be needed to reach the Moon, since he didn't anticipate the improvements in lightweight materials and rocket engine performance that happened during the next few years. Hence the early plans for a five engine Atlas.

The R-7 was ridiculously big for an ICBM because Soviet manufacturing tech in the mid-1950s couldn't miniaturize nuclear warheads to the same degree as the American ones, but when it became operational at the end of the decade, this problem had been solved and in practice the R-7 was already obsolete by the time it got deployed as a missile.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Proponent on 09/02/2017 01:23 PM
Keep in mind that efficient kerosene combustion had become better understood, partially due to significant research on jet engines for both military and civilian application, at the time.

OK, but why switch to alcohol for flight testing?  Why not either stay with kerosene or move on to gasoline?
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Blackstar on 09/02/2017 04:06 PM
I understand gasoline's properties, but I don't know much about kerosene. Does kerosene have problems with fumes the same way that gasoline does?
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/02/2017 06:09 PM
Keep in mind that efficient kerosene combustion had become better understood, partially due to significant research on jet engines for both military and civilian application, at the time.

OK, but why switch to alcohol for flight testing?  Why not either stay with kerosene or move on to gasoline?

Alcohol combustion is less susceptible to TO because its less complex, part of why early jets/rocket engines used it (they were taming the technology). Interestingly, F80's used an alcohol injection for assist at take-off that smoothed out the low altitude combustion.
 
Alcohol has less energy density then kero. Kero also has high wetting like alcohol, and less issues than gasoline with flash/vapor. Combining it with gas brings those back.

As time went on, the mathematical/computer models of fuel rich combustion reliably converged fairly early, encouraging use. (Hydrogen came after.) The only exception to this has been oxygen rich combustion, which still brings surprises in nonuniform mixtures/species.

Likely the tests were to prove proper engine function/operation, and it did not matter the performance/duration/consumption of propellant. So it removed a variable from the system under test.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: WallE on 09/03/2017 09:46 AM
Alcohol combustion is less susceptible to TO because its less complex, part of why early jets/rocket engines used it (they were taming the technology). Interestingly, F80's used an alcohol injection for assist at take-off that smoothed out the low altitude combustion.

The problems with rough combustion on Rocketdyne kerolox engines are well-known and caused a number of spectacular failures on test stands and launches, they had to be worked out for the Saturn F-1 engine.

Alcohol doesn't have as many issues as RP-1 with rough combustion, although it wasn't unknown. There were some problems on the early Redstone tests, for example the third Redstone flight (RS-3 on 5/4/54) experienced a  combustion transient at liftoff and fell back onto the pad, exploding. These problems were worked out early on as Q/C on Redstone engines improved.

Soviet rockets had occasional rough combustion problems as well, it caused a couple of R-7 and Kosmos 3M fails.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Proponent on 09/03/2017 04:51 PM
Had it been real gasoline, I get an image of an unfueled Atlas being towed to a nearby gas station on an extra-wide trailer: "10,000 gallons of regular, please."
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/03/2017 07:48 PM
Alcohol doesn't have as many issues as RP-1 with rough combustion, although it wasn't unknown. There were some problems on the early Redstone tests, for example the third Redstone flight (RS-3 on 5/4/54) experienced a  combustion transient at liftoff and fell back onto the pad, exploding.
Believe that was due to the flat plate injector design that induced combustion instability, not the use of alcohol.
(http://www.enginehistory.org/Museums/USSRC/Redstone/0327.jpg)
Title: Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
Post by: WallE on 09/03/2017 11:01 PM
The early A-6 engines used on the first R&D Redstone flights did have some problems with rough combustion, mostly resulting in premature engine shutdown in flight, but (as I said) the third test lost thrust right after liftoff and dropped back onto LC-4 in a fireball. When they examined the missile debris, the LOX dome was found to be ruptured due to a low-order explosion in the injector head. Werner von Braun allegedly said afterwards "One hundred percent missile reliability will be achieved when the missile's target area is more dangerous than the launch area."

The original V-2 engine used a complex multichamber design to ensure smooth combustion but Rocketdyne rejected this for being too heavy, complicated, and expensive (cost wasn't an issue in Nazi Germany where V-2 engines were assembled with slave labor, but American workers had to actually be paid). Besides, manufacturing technology had improved a lot since WWII and better, more lightweight rocket engines could be built by the '50s. The basic design they came up with was the prototype for all subsequent Rocketdyne engines.

Rocketdyne engines in static tests had issues with high frequency "racetrack" combustion instability which would cause the propellants to swirl around in a whirlpool and produce a jackhammer effect that demolished the injector head. This may have caused the on-pad explosion of three Atlas ICBM tests, but the exact reason was not determined with certainty. The ultimate solution of adding baffles to the injector head to break up swirling propellant had the downside of added weight and reduced performance.

Although combustion instability on the Redstone had been solved early on, its recurrence on the Atlas was due to the much bigger engines as well as RP-1 propellant, which as Space Ghost mentioned, is more chemically complex than alcohol.

The Saturn F-1 program absorbed a number of lessons learned by Rocketdyne over the years, but it also required the development of new alloys to prevent rough combustion on the giant engines and a few F-1s exploded in tests while the design was being worked out. Soviet manufacturing for comparison never did prove itself up to the task of solving rough combustion on large kerolox engines, hence they still had to design the RD-180 as a single unit with four thrust chambers.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 09/10/2017 11:42 PM
Note:  I changed the thread to Project Atlas Reports so that I can post other quarterly reports.  Tks, Tony.

Atlas ICBM Missile: "Project Atlas Report 2nd Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics

Jeff Quitney
Published on Sep 10, 2017

SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the second quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-14

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954 the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract was awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) Communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

--------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Government slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbkmoDXzU_w?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbkmoDXzU_w
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 09/20/2017 12:11 AM
Atlas ICBM Missile: "Project Atlas Report 3rd Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics

Jeff Quitney
Published on Sep 19, 20


SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the third quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-15



The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as a first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954 the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract was awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

---------------------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Government, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSc8GsdZXKk?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSc8GsdZXKk
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 10/06/2017 04:25 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 4th Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics ICBM

Jeff Quitney
Published on Oct 5, 2017

SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the fourth quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-17

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division. The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

-------------------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Government slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BLtH1bwErE?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BLtH1bwErE
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 10/18/2017 03:10 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1957" Convair Division, General Dynamics ICBM

Jeff Quitney
Published on Oct 17, 2017

SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the first quarter of 1957. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-20

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

-----------------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Government slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce29-OJyEEA?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce29-OJyEEA
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 11/24/2017 10:49 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 3rd Quarter 1957" Convair; ICBM Flight Test 6A Blowup

Jeff Quitney
Published on Nov 23, 2017

SM-65 Atlas second flight on 25 September 1957 ends early in the flight because of an engine shutdown after a failure in the fuel system. The Atlas was destroyed by the range safety officer at 63.6 seconds after liftoff.

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

--------------------------------------------
Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiLjlUmNZwQ?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiLjlUmNZwQ
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 12/04/2017 04:53 PM
HACL film 01041 Atlas Project Report Fourth Quarter 1956

sdasmarchives
Published on Dec 4, 2017

Film from the Atlas-Centaur Heritage Film Collection which was donated to the San Diego Air and Space Museum by Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY6gZZrog0k?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY6gZZrog0k

Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 12/13/2017 04:25 PM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 4th Quarter 1957" Convair; 1st Successful Flight, 3rd Launch


Jeff Quitney
Published on Dec 13, 2017


SM-65 Atlas third flight on on 12 December 1957 (Atlas 12A) was the first successful flight of the Atlas missile.


The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as a first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954 the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract was awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

--------------------------------------------------
Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymqgr2udoF8?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymqgr2udoF8
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: jkumpire on 12/14/2017 07:04 PM
Thank you for this series of reports Tony!
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 12/26/2017 03:34 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 2nd Quarter 1958" Convair; 7th & 8th Atlas ICBM Launches

Jeff Quitney
Published on Dec 24, 2017


SM-65 Atlas 7th flight on 5 April 1958 (Atlas 15A) experienced a turbopump failure at T+105 seconds. The 8th flight,  on 3 June 1958 (Atlas 16A), was the third successful flight of the Atlas missile, and the final flight of the "A" series Atlas.

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as a first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954 the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract was awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

-----------------------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVxZ-nnBasY?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVxZ-nnBasY
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: WallE on 12/26/2017 03:23 PM
Atlas 15A was the third Atlas to have been lost to a turbopump failure. There was a slight drop in pump speed at T+96 seconds and about ten seconds later, the pump shut down. The engines lost thrust and the Atlas fell into the ocean, remaining structurally intact until impact.

The Air Force had known about the pump problems for a while but were reluctant to have them replaced and slow down the test program. There were issues both with the lubricant oil foaming at high altitude and the bearings being knocked loose by the rotation of the pump. The flight of 15A convinced them to change the gearbox pressure and use a different oil that was less prone to foaming, but the bearing problem remained and it brought down two more flights (Thor 127 and Atlas 6B) before the pumps were replaced with an improved model.

At 14:45 in the video when the narrator says that 15A was the last flight with the 270,000 pound booster engines. This is actually incorrect, only the first four Atlas As used those and 15A had the 300,000 pound engines.

There were quite a few repeat Atlas failures due to rushed launch schedules. The engineers usually had an idea of what went wrong the first time it happened, but the Air Force couldn't be bothered to apply the necessary fixes. I'd mentioned before that they lost three Atlases in six months to hydraulic rise-off failures before having the heat shields redesigned.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 01/09/2018 06:29 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 4th Quarter 1958" Convair; Atlas ICBM Flight Tests: 9B, 10B, 3C


Jeff Quitney
Published on Jan 8, 2018

SM-65B Atlas: flight tests of the "B" series and "C" series Atlas ICBM, plus work on the "D" series in progress.

General Dynamics Convair film AT-58

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

--------------------------------------------------------
Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

There is a broadband hum in the vocal frequencies of this film which I cannot completely remove.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL6jzwiWE8o?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL6jzwiWE8o
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 01/17/2018 11:34 PM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1959" Convair; Atlas ICBM Flight Tests

Jeff Quitney
Published on Jan 17, 2018


SM-65 Atlas: flight tests of the "B" series and "C" series Atlas ICBM, plus work on the "D" series in progress.

General Dynamics Convair film AT-59

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954 the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract was awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.
---------------------------------------------------------
Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWF3Pan8NGQ?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWF3Pan8NGQ
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 01/26/2018 06:25 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 3rd Quarter 1958" Convair; Atlas ICBM Flight Tests


Jeff Quitney
Published on Jan 25, 2018

SM-65 Atlas Project July 1-Sept 30 1958: flight tests of the "B" series Atlas ICBM, plus work on the "C" series and "D" series in progress.

General Dynamics Convair film AT-52

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.
------------------------------------------------------
Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.

The original soundtrack of this film is lost. I have added music from YouTube's library.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjTiq_lXfPA?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjTiq_lXfPA
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: WallE on 01/26/2018 04:54 PM
Atlas 3B is a frequent staple of rocket whoopsie highlight reels. The yaw gyro motor failed and it tumbled wildly out of control before breaking up at the forward end of the LOX tank at T+43 seconds. An article in a 1986 Journal of the British Interplanetary Society claims the ground crews forgot to power on the yaw gyro during prelaunch preparations, but GD/A docs do not support this claim or offer any explanation in particular for the malfunction. This and a couple more gyroscope malfunctions led to the implementation of the Spin Motor Detection System, which wasn't fully phased into Atlas vehicles until 1961.

A small thrust section fire on 3B led to the lube oil vent line being moved away from the turbine exhaust on subsequent vehicles, otherwise all missile systems aside from the yaw gyro performed well during the brief flight.

4B was fully successful and marked the first time that Atlas booster jettison and RV separation were performed on a flight. 5B and 8B did well, but then 6B succumbed to a turbopump bearing fail. The booster engines shut down 80 seconds into the launch, the missile pitched, and broke up two seconds later. This and the Thor-Able failure a month earlier finally convinced the Air Force that they needed to replace the turbopumps with an improved model. 6B also had a launcher release malfunction at liftoff which tore holes in the B-1 thrust structure but it having anything to do with the flight failure was quickly ruled out.

Atlas 9B was the first test flight of the upgraded pumps, but the mission was rushed and they didn't bother matching the new turbopumps properly to the booster engines, also the pumps used on 9B were C-series models. As a result, the Atlas consumed its fuel supply early and had a premature SECO, causing it to miss the target point in the South Atlantic by almost 900 miles. The roll control during the early portion of flight was also very poor, this necessitated further improvements to the autopilot.

12B was successful and then came the flight of SCORE, the first communications satellite and use of an Atlas for a space launch. For SCORE, they stripped Atlas 10B of all nonessential components including the telemetry and Azusa system and also installed MA-1 engines which had above-normal performance. The flight was mostly prepared in secret and the launch crews thought it was a routine missile test. Reportedly, the Range Safety Officer almost blew the Atlas up when he noticed that the flight trajectory deviated from the normal one used for missile test flights but he was quickly talked out of it. 10B had a slight pitch deviation during launch due to a misaligned gyroscope but a backup command from the ground guidance corrected it. The missile's performance during flight appeared normal as far as could be determined from visual and tracking data (being that there was no telemetry onboard).

Atlas 3C was the last flight of 1958 and tested out the extended 151 second booster burn time successfully.
Title: Re: Project Atlas Reports
Post by: catdlr on 02/02/2018 05:12 AM
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 3rd Quarter 1959" Convair; Atlas ICBM Flight Tests

Jeff Quitney
Published on Feb 1, 2018

SM-65 Atlas Project July 1-Sept 30 1959: flight tests of the "D" series Atlas ICBM. Includes the first launch of an ICBM missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base (Atlas 12D), and an unmanned Project Mercury capsule launch from Cape Canaveral  (Atlas 10D).

General Dynamics Convair film AT-72

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.
---------------------------------------------------------
Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdT6rUJRGXM?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdT6rUJRGXM